According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of consumers who fell victim of identity fraud was 14.4 million in 2018. Even though this number is lower than years past, these victims bore a heavier financial burden; 3.3 million people were responsible for some of the liability of the fraud committed against them.
Identity theft is one of the most nefarious crimes out there. We wanted to share seven ways to help protect yourself.
- Secure Your Hard Copies: Every sensitive document should be kept in a safe. Your credit cards and debit cards should always be securely placed in your wallet.
- Bonus Tip: Shredding all aged documents that contain sensitive information can help prevent identity theft.
- Examine Your Financial Statements: Every month review your financial statements to check for fraudulent activity. Report any suspicious charges immediately.
- Bonus Tip: You can sign up for alerts and limit your credit card activity to a specific geographical area.
- Choose Strong Passwords: It is best if you use different, strong passwords for each of your accounts and devices.
- Bonus Tip: Use a secure password service to create and store unique passwords.
- Protect Your Computer: Invest in a strong anti-spyware program to protect your hardware from hackers.
- Bonus Tip: Try encrypting your hard drive for an extra level of protection.
- Be Wary of Suspicious Emails and Websites: Don’t open suspicious-looking emails or click on the links for unfamiliar sites.
- Bonus Tip: If your email inbox is flood with promotional emails, unsubscribe from some of them. This will help you spot some of the “bad apples” in all that mail.
- Use Two-Factor Identification: Using an extra log-in step will help ward off scammers and add another layer of security to your accounts.
- Bonus Tip: Never elect to have a device “remember your password” for a site that involves payments of any kind.
- Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi is a great hunting ground for thieves and scammers; steer clear if you can. At the very least, avoid online banking or password logins while you are on the public Wi-Fi.
- Bonus Tip: Secure your home Wi-Fi with a strong password.
Identity Theft Protection is a great tool to invest in. There is only one you, so let’s keep it that way. If you have questions or would like to discuss some options for identity theft protection, give one of our professionals a call at 847-907-4520. R.C. Keller & Company has been protecting the people of Schaumburg and the surrounding area since 1910. We are a full service independent insurance agency that will do the shopping for you.